The textbook provides this definition of focus groups.
Here’s a question for you.
Moderating a focus group takes considerable skill. While conducted in a friendly, conversational tone, most focus groups are scripted for consistency and efficacy.
The script for a focus group builds from warm-up questions (meet and greet) to introductions (explaining the purpose of the focus group), through transition questions, to key questions (the “meat”) to ending questions and of course, thanks for participation.
Here is a question for you.
Feedback from a focus group can be extensive (and unpredictable!) so analysis is vital. In very formal focus groups, a full transcript is prepared. Of course, this is time consuming if done internally and costly if you contract it out. If transcripts are not prepared, then it is important to review your notes shortly after the focus group sessions as your recollection of feedback will decline as time passes. Your first step is to identify themes or trends in the feedback. Did the focus group participants provide concrete examples that might serve as compelling evidence of the credibility of their opinions?
Wrapping up. Focus groups are common and perhaps the most likely form of research you will encounter in your public relations career. While there are both benefits and liabilities to focus group research, properly conducted focus groups are indispensible. This concludes the slides for week 7.
HPPR 404 Research and Evaluation Sherrell Steele Focus Groups